Pumpkin Dinner: Pasta with Mushrooms and Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Sauce

Since this spring a friend of mine has a vegetable garden where she grows loads of different vegetables. Her crop of pumpkins was amazing, she had so many pumpkins that she gifted me two of them. I pureed both the pumpkins and while I was looking at my bookmarked pumpkin recipes, I received an email from Phyl of Of Cabbages & King Cakes with a question if I wanted to participate in a Pumpkin Dinner Round Up. Of course this sounded like fun! I ended up making Pasta with Mushrooms and Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Sauce and Pumpkin-Butterscotch Cookies. The cookies will be posted later, today I’m sharing the recipe for the Pasta with Mushrooms and Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Sauce.

I wasn’t able to find evaporated milk, so I used sour cream. The flavor of the pumpkin and gorgonzola was very subtle, next time I will probably use a bit more gorgonzola.


Pasta with Mushrooms and Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Sauce

adapted from Cooking Light
serves 6 

1 lb. uncooked pasta, small shapes work best
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms, any variety
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground sage or fresh sage, chopped
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk (I used a cup of sour cream)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup (2 oz.) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Keep warm.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms, onion and garlic; cover and cook 3 minutes.  Uncover, cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Combine sage and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer.  Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add cornstarch mixture and cheese to milk mixture; stirring with a whisk.  Cook 2 minutes or until thick and smooth, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; stir in pumpkin, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Add pasta to skillet.  Pour sauce over pasta and mushroom mixture, toss well to combine.

Leslie’s Cinnamon Cookies for Grown Ups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s another post from the archives. Last year I participated in a Virtual Cookie Exchange, hosted by Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook. Leslie of Lethally Delicious made these wonderful Cinnamon Cookies that I simply had to make, as I’m crazy about cinnamon! If you love cinnamon too, I suggest you hurry into the kitchen and whip up a batch of these lovely cookies. They are soooo good!


Cinnamon Cookies for Grown Ups

1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons (7 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
3/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 cups cinnamon chips

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

3. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in a deep 10-inch skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma and the milk solids are very brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large, deep heatproof bowl. Immediately stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.

4. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in cinnamon chips and give dough a final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.

5. Portion out dough: 1 tablespoon will give you 2″ cookies and 2 tablespoons of dough yields 3-3 1/2″ cookies. Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

6. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 9 to 12 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

Makes about 3 dozen 2″ cookies

Oatmeal Dark Kisses Cookies

There they were, sitting in my Drafts Folder: some draft posts for cookies I bakes for the Christmas Platters I gave to friends, family and coworkers last year. These cookies were one of the twelve different cookies I had on my Christmas Platters, they sounded pretty healthy as they contained oatmeal and I ended up using Dark Hershey Kisses instead of Milk Chocolate.
Hershey Oatmeal Dark Kisses Cookies
recipe adapted from Hershey’s
makes about 6 dozen cookies

1 bag (13 oz.) Hershey’s Kisses Brand Dark Chocolates
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2-1/4 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup chopped nuts
Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove wrappers from chocolate pieces.
Beat butter, shortening, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in rolled oats and nuts. Shape rounded teaspoons of dough into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven; immediately place chocolate piece in center of each cookie, pressing down lightly. Carefully remove cookies from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Twitter Chef Avatar Fun: Nigella Lawson’s (Blueberry) Pancakes

Remember when I blogged about this fun new idea called ‘Twitter Chef Avatar’, way back in February and March? Nancy came up with the great idea of each of us picking a different chef for each month, all of us making anything we each selected to make from that chef’s recipes, taking a photo of our efforts, and using that photo as our avatar for that month. I somehow lost track and didn’t participate after March

This month I had a great excuse to get back into Twitter Chef Avatar: I got to pick the chef for September. I figured it would be a good idea to pick a chef of which I actually own some cookbooks. So my pick was Nigella Lawson, I actually own two of her cookbooks: ‘Hoe word ik een goddelijke huisvrouw‘ a.k.a ‘How to Be a Domestic Goddess‘ and ‘Nigella’s Kerst‘ a.k.a. ‘Nigella Christmas‘ but am ashamed to admit I hadn’t cooked from either of them until now.

I went back and forth between loads of appealling recipes in both books until I ended up picking her recipe for Pancakes from ‘Hoe word ik een goddelijke huisvrouw‘, simply because it was Sunday morning and I was in the mood for pancakes! The recipe can be found below, on page of ‘Hoe word ik een goddelijke huisvrouw‘ or here on Nigella’s website.

(Blueberry) Pancakes
from Nigella’s How word ik een goddelijke huisvrouw

225g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
30g butter, melted and cooled
300ml milk
butter for frying

The easiest way to make these is to put all the ingredients into a blender and blitz. But if you do mix up the batter by hand in a bowl, make a well in the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar, beat in the eggs, melted butter and milk, and transfer to a jug: it’s much easier to pour the batter into the pan than to spoon it. Nigella likes to leave the batter for 20 minutes before using it; she also suggest that you may then want to add more milk to the mixture if you’re frying in the blini pan, so that it runs right to the edges.

When you cook the pancakes, all you need to remember is that when the upper side of the pancake is blistering and bubbling it’s time to cook the second side, and this needs only about 1 minute, if that.

Nigella gets 11 blini-pan-sized pancakes out of this or16 silver-dollar-sized ones on the griddle.

Nigella suggests to add blueberries to the pancakes just before they are ready to be turned over, I did this for half of the batter. I liked both pancakes, but preferred the version with the blueberries: what can I say, I love blueberries!

Here are some other Twitter Chef Avatar Fun: Nigella Lawson posts:
Kayte made Nigella’s Peach Melba

Please let me know if you posted about Twitter Avatar Fun, I will be more than happy to link to your post too!

30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 7: Favorite Veggie


My favorite veggies??? Now, that’s a difficult question! I like almost all vegetables, I don’t care a lot for kale and I absolutely detest peas from a can. Fresh or from the freezer I can eat them, but from a can…. Yuck! However I love to eat asparagus, I’m always sad when the season for them is over…..


Although Aspargus season is over, here are three lovely asparagus recipes I have posted earlier on this blog:

Asparagus, Tomato & Goat Cheese Tart

Asparagus Soup

Asparagus and Spinach Spaghetti with Garlic, Basil and Parmesan Cheese

Tell me, what’s your favorite vegetable?

30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 6: Dutch Recipes – Boterkoek

Boterkoek is a flat round biscuit that is traditionally made with butter (boter), it has to be butter otherwise it’s not a proper boterkoek! The Boterkoek is usually baked in a special round Boterkoek tin from 22 to 24 centimeter. The butterbiscuit is then cut into wedges, leaving them somewhere between a cake and a cookie. But you can also use a pie dish (I used a 9-inch silicone dish) or a baking sheet and cut into squares.

I’ve found loads of different recipes for Boterkoek on the Internet and tried several these two: Oma’s Boterkoek(number one, in English) and Allerlekkerste boterkoek(number two, in Dutch). I adapted the recipes to my liking and managed to bake the perfect boterkoek.

Boterkoek

250 gram butter
250 gram white castor sugar
1 bag of vanilla sugar (8 gram)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
250 gram flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius. Grease the tin with butter or spray.

In medium bowl, mix together butter, white castor sugar and vanilla extract. Add half of the beaten egg and mix. Sift flour and salt and mix with wet ingredients. Put dough in greased 9 inch pie plate. Brush the other half of the beaten egg over the dough. Decorate the dough using a fork that you gently press down into the dough while making stripes.

Bake at for 25 minutes, the boterkoek should have a golden colour and still a bit soft to the touch. Let the boterkoek cool down completely and cut it into wedges or squares.

30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 5: Favorite Non Alcoholic Drink

My favorite non-alcoholic drink are these Fruit Wellness teas by Pickwick. They come in four different flavors: Pomegranate & Raspberry, Acai Berry & Blueberry, Grapefruit & Orange and Bloodorange & Kiwi. My absolute favorites are the first two, they taste a bit sweet. These teas are all 100 procent natural, made with real fruit and cafeine-free.